Languages of the World

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AuthorTopic: Languages of the World
Shock Trooper
Member # 1207
Profile #0
I wasn't quite sure where to put this, so I just put it here in BoA for the moment.
Anyway, what are the languages of the world of Avernum?

I'm particularly interested in the Vahnatai language, and possibly constructing a grammar for it. For instance, their use of is ___ing instead of ___s suggests to me that their language is isolating like Chinese, ie. all the words are seperate and there are no grammatical inflections like in European languages, however they also often compound words together, so that sort of contradicts...

Also, what would Vahnatai writing look like? Like Egyptian hieroglyphs or Arabic cursive writing or European writing or Chinese brush script logographs? Or like runes?

Any ideas? Any idea what I'm going on about?
I could always post it to another BB which would, but they wouldn't know what the Vahnatai were...
Posts: 316 | Registered: Saturday, May 25 2002 07:00
Agent
Member # 1993
Profile #1
Drakey and others made a neat site about

))
:cool: /
(0
LL

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Slartucker: * facepalm facepalm facepalm *
Dikiyoba: Are you unconscious yet?
Posts: 1420 | Registered: Wednesday, October 2 2002 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #2
Well, right now Novah is just a lexicon, and I've always wanted to develop a grammar for it. One of the main obstacles has been my lack of time for a completely new project, but I'm getting plenty of practice studying Euskara (Basque) and Hebrew which means I'm in a nice language-y mood.

In Novah, each word is expressed as a rune/character, whereas compound words are characters next to each other, with spaces between compound words and all separate words in general.

Other languages include Slithzerikaiis, Soruharva, native Aizoan, and Pralgradian Basic, which is the language of the Empire.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1207
Profile #3
Actually Novah was the main thing that made me think about it justnow, as well as being on a BB about conworlding/conlanging* and linguistics.
*constructed language
Do you have a link to grammars and/or lexicons for these other languages?

[ Wednesday, February 18, 2004 04:23: Message edited by: pie ]
Posts: 316 | Registered: Saturday, May 25 2002 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #4
http://members.aol.com/ZZhou22876/soruharv.html

Slitherzerikaiis is Alec's baby, but I have a copy on my HD.

Pralgradian Basic is basically English.

EDIT: zompist looks really interesting - I'll have to register there.

[ Wednesday, February 18, 2004 05:08: Message edited by: Drakefyre ]

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
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You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #5
"Pralgadian Basic", of course, being the lay-man's term for Lower Takmannean. Not that you'll get Natus the Seer to agree with you, though.

I've been working out a language for the Rakshasi. It's a complete pain in the ass- it's based around Tanmaii, or two-word sentences. :P

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3605
Profile Homepage #6
what is the dragons native toungue, and which or what is the "magic language" or that used for mage spells (im guessing priest spells are the native language of the caster, and also that there might be different toungues for the different races, when it comes to mage spells)?

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"But The Damage is Irreversible"
Posts: 358 | Registered: Monday, October 27 2003 08:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #7
Soruharva is the native tongue of magic.

As for the dragons, I don't really know. I'd imagine it could be a deep and guttural language out of the range of human ears.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
====
You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 4001
Profile Homepage #8
The language of the Dragons (the sentient ones of course) might be audible and learned by humans. Why not? I'd imagine it as some harsh, but not guttural speech, sort of flowing and with an extreme frequency of x's, z's and s's in that case... ;)

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I may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
I must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
I must protect my own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Posts: 21 | Registered: Tuesday, February 17 2004 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3605
Profile Homepage #9
is Soruharva the mage language for all species? Im guessing if it is, it could be explained by the Vahnatai creation theory or by the dragons discovering and sharing (or more precisley it being stolen from them).
On a linked topic i disagree with the creation theory, as in A3 on of the dragons calls the adventurers monkeys, referring to the evolution theory.

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"But The Damage is Irreversible"
Posts: 358 | Registered: Monday, October 27 2003 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #10
Or maybe they just called us monkeys because to them we look and act like monkeys? I mean, when you call a person a stubborn old mule you can't literally mean they're descended from mules, since mules are sterile. :P
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Guardian
Member # 2238
Profile Homepage #11
How dare you refer to me as sterile! Anyway, language is not something you want to mess up, seeing as a large population of people would be upset by it's disuse (or something like that). It's always better to have a "translator" following the party around, just in case one's mage lore is lacking. But aren't all of our's?

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DEMON PLAY,
DEMON OUT!
Posts: 1582 | Registered: Wednesday, November 13 2002 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 3936
Profile Homepage #12
I think it would be cool to abolish Mage Lore and just show all the runes and languages as the party would see them. It'll never happen, of course, but it'd rock to have to learn the stuff for yourself... :D
Posts: 13 | Registered: Wednesday, January 28 2004 08:00
Guardian
Member # 2238
Profile Homepage #13
Quite possible...

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DEMON PLAY,
DEMON OUT!
Posts: 1582 | Registered: Wednesday, November 13 2002 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1207
Profile #14
People probably wouldn't want to learn your language just to play your scenario, but maybe if you put the foreign language alongside English, it might add a degree of fantasy and interest....
Indeed, in BoA you can make large pictures like maps and whatnot to put into dialogs, like in A3, right?

Soruharva needs a phonology: what sounds are permitted? What clusters of consonants and vowels are allowed? What sound does each letter actually stand for? Etc.
Why call it Pralgradian Basic when it makes more sense to call it just Pralgradian? Basic simply sounds too scientific...
Posts: 316 | Registered: Saturday, May 25 2002 07:00
Warrior
Member # 2155
Profile #15
quote:
Originally written by pie:

Why call it Pralgradian Basic when it makes more sense to call it just Pralgradian? Basic simply sounds too scientific...
Agreed. It sounds like something you'd program with (see Visual Basic). Maybe the term common would look/sound better?

---Your linguistic maniac, Necris Omega

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Razordisk Frisbee Golf
Posts: 168 | Registered: Saturday, October 26 2002 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #16
Fine. We'll just call it Pralgradian.

As for Soruharva, you'll need to ask Akhronath.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
====
You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 1451
Profile Homepage #17
quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:



In Novah, each word is expressed as a rune/character, whereas compound words are characters next to each other, with spaces between compound words and all separate words in general.


really?? i thought they used a simple phonetically written language. i think i came upon such a statement in Pyrogs Cave i A2. the writing you speak of seems like syllabic language similar to far east scripts. clarify your statement, please?

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I am pleased to make contact with your entities.
Posts: 123 | Registered: Sunday, July 7 2002 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #18
If you look in places like the Giant Caves in Exile/Avernum 3, to open the room to get to the map you need to play with a control panel. What's there, but Vahnatai-labeled runes.

I'd imagine that it's sort of like Japanese or Egyptian, where there are two sorts of alphabets used in different occasions. Except in Novah, it would be one formal rune alphabet also used in magic, but with a regular alphabet used in common writing, most books, etc.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
====
Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
====
You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #19
I apologize in advance if this is answered elsewhere or is just so abundantly clear to everyone else that it simply went without saying. And I suppose here I've reached beyond the scope of this topic but it was reading about the languages of the world that pushed me to the point where I had to register and ask.

My question: what the heck are people talking about here? "Novah"? Is there ANY basis in the games for developing a dictionary/lexicon of the Vahnatai language? From memory, without going back and playing over Avernums 2 and 3 again, we have roughly five or six words, mostly suffixes to names, if I'm not mistaken, and we have even less to make a Slith language, and no evidence whatsoever that anyone on Aizo spoke a different language than the current Empire head honchos. So aren't any of these languages just going to be someone's odd little creation? In which case, wouldn't anyone else's invention be just as legitimate? If I wanted to say that in Vahnatai, "Tek clak mop blek" means "I think Drakefyre is super-cool," then wouldn't that be just as valid as if someone decides that "hrel" means "research"?

Or perhaps I am mistaking the concept of authority here in the Blades community. I was under the impression that the only source of "truth" about the world of Exile/Avernum -- Ermarian? Where does that term come from? -- was Mr. Vogel and the games themselves. Perhaps it is the case that some of the oldest and most respected members of the community (like Drakefyre) have some authority in their own right and therefore can lay down some standard rules about the Exile/Avernum universe without any basis in the games whatsoever.

In that case, it would be kind of nice to have some of the general facts that we've all accepted since BoE came out gathered in one place, or at least in a few links in one place or something. Oh, and some mention of what we have all accepted and what we haven't -- and here I am specifically thinking of Vahnatai Creationism, which, no offense Drakey, sounds like the biggest load of hogwash I have ever heard.

I mean, I could read all of the messages on every message board ever created involving BoE, BoA, E1-E3, A1-A3, and every web site and link on such boards, as well as every site I get when I Google these games' names, but that seems like an even more daunting task than trying to verify every new oddball assertion that I find by replaying A1, A2, and A3.

I apologize again if I sound stupid. I just feel like I'm light-years behind (maybe about six or so :) ) and have no way of catching up. I was never really able to get into BoE because I was an Avernum fan and the Exile engine just seemed too archaic, but I intend to be an active BoA-er, so I'd like to have some clue what's going on, and the more I look around, the most lost I become.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
This Side Towards Enemy
Member # 3098
Profile #20
There are certain things that the community as a whole has decided. It makes things easier for discussion, gives people a useful starting point for scenarios so their information doesn't clash too much with anybody else's (not that it matters) and clears up some of the game's many ambiguities. Some theories such as Vahnatai creationism are not universally accepted.

If you want information, I recommend the Encyclopedia Ermariana, which is nowhere near complete and has an address I can't remember.

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The Empire Always Loses: Never Proved to Be a Contributory Factor to Stomach Cancer
Posts: 961 | Registered: Thursday, June 12 2003 07:00
Bob's Big Date
Member # 3151
Profile Homepage #21
Aixo-se is not a going concern until our current plotline; given its similarity to Imperial, it's unlikely it was a pre-cataclysmic language. In fact, it's all too likely that the parent language of the Empire is from Aizo and not Pralgad.

Imperial, Vahnataiis, Slithzerikaiis and Novah are the only separate languages. There are many little dialects spoken by goblins and Nephilim, but neither have ever seen the advanced civilization necessary to build their own language. Dragons do not have a separate society and are unlikely to have a separate language. Novah is too pervasively regular to be a real language -- my theory is that there is another language, Vahnataiis, which the majority of the Vahnatai speak, with Novah being something like a more popular Lobjan.

We could count major dialects like Vantanasiyen or Undercommon, but the former stems from the natives of Vantanas being absorbed by the Empire rather than being killed en masse and mostly replaced with Imperial settlers, and the latter comes from unintelligent races' failure to understand Imperial.

Vahnataiis and Slithzerikaiis are almost definitely related. Of course, this all comes from my silly theories, which call the Vahnatai less living gods and more a species with odd habits and odder diplomatic relationships. With the evidence Drakey uses to present VC, I could much more firmly state that the world was created by the GIFTS.
Then again, he got around to it first. For which reason I intend to be the first BoA author of any scale and to defeat him once and for all.

[ Saturday, February 28, 2004 12:50: Message edited by: Djur ]

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The biggest, the baddest, and the fattest.
Posts: 2367 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
Warrior
Member # 497
Profile #22
I know exactly what you mean, Kelandon. When I first joined this site, I had no idea what people were talking about; I knew the games themselves, but I had absolutely no reference upon which to base most of the objects and events referred to.

So, being possessed of what I'd hope would qualify as an analytical mind, I've decided to go out and figure things for myself. Naturally, this puts my information at odds with the "accepted" norm, but until now I haven't mentioned it.

For example, I've noted that one of the critical elements in Vahnatai Creationism is the purported "Warmaster Golem." WTF is that? I've never heard of it, and there's nothing, anywhere, substantiating the claim that it is the reason for the Vahnatai entering the caves.

For that matter, there isn't much evidence saying that the Vahnatai ever did arise on the surface. There are some rather old ruins, but why do they have to be an origin? That they may be older than anything in the caves means nothing, since in the caves, Vahnatai civilisation is repeatedly destroyed by primitive insects and natural events as they hibernate. Maybe the Vahnatai on the surface were exiles who rejected the Crystal Souls and instead worshipped demons. Maybe their leader was called Sss-Thoss-Bok. Maybe they did arise on the surface and create everything, but maybe it was an Ice Age that drove them to the stable climate of the caves. Maybe it was a meteor. Maybe it was a Warmaster Golem--but I'll believe that when I see it. Until then, I'm not even going to speculate on the colour of my socks without lifting up both pant legs and checking.

The current theory of Vahnatai Creationism is nice, but it doesn't hold up, IMHO. We already know that there are gods who take direct action in world affairs--explain Priest Spells to me if this isn't the case. Are we calling them inept, now? If all races aside from the Vahnatai are created by them as little more than science experiments, then why is it that these gods are at all willing to listen to, let alone assist, these "pets?"

There are factors which the current theory completely ignores. There are other places where it makes wild leaps into speculative fantasy (relative to the world in which we're dealing, of course) in order to make itself work. I don't buy that--I want a theory which stands upon the evidence which we've been given, and can actually say, "I don't know," when there are unexplained phenomena. More than anything, however, I want a theory which can be worked on, added to, and most importantly, changed when the need and new evidence arises. It would be nice, as well, if it could remain grounded in the trilogy of games and leave the holes which it will undoubtedly have (we're playing adventurers here, not paleontologists) to the scenario designers--if they so choose.

[ Sunday, February 29, 2004 23:27: Message edited by: Tom ]

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Evil comes in many forms. I am but one of them.
Posts: 116 | Registered: Monday, January 7 2002 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #23
Okay, now Djur, this is what I'm talking about: "Aixo-se is not a going concern until our current plotline; given its similarity to Imperial, it's unlikely it was a pre-cataclysmic language."

...

There seems to be some entire set of information that I'm missing. "[O]ur current plotline" presumably refers to something, but I can't for the life of me figure out what. I found a reference to an RP somewhere that was happening recently, but I can't find it again now, and I don't even know what that is or what it means. My ignorance goes so far that I don't even know what an RP is, other than that it sounds similar to the RPG that means "Role-Playing Game."

If "our current plotline" DOESN'T refer to the RP, then I'm in even worse shape and I just don't have any concept of what you're talking about.

And where are you getting samples of these languages? Aixo-se and Imperial and the rest? How do you say that they even exist, much less that they're related? That was the point of my post, not that I doubt the veracity of anyone's claims, but that I lack any concept of the evidence from which they stem.

And needless to say, the entire third paragraph of your post means nothing to me. It might as well be written in, uh, "Slitherzerikaiis," as you call it. Vantanasiyen? Undercommon? From whence do these terms originate, and where does one find samples of them and historical background such that you can make a statement like "the former stems from the natives of Vantanas being absorbed by the Empire rather than being killed en masse and mostly replaced with Imperial settlers"?

So utterly lost. Someone please enlighten me.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3605
Profile Homepage #24
just ignore them. I do. Theyre just hardcore fans, and what they come up with won't really affect most of us. theyre jus having fun. The only thing i suggest is that there should be a standard history made. a time line, not like the other ones which are still being argued over, but somthing solid to base rp's in. think about it, how is a theory, on how many languages the empire has, going to affect you? unless, you try to make a very screwed scenario, involving all the languages posible to imagine, which will piss me of. so in other words, ignore until they find something simple to agree on.

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"But The Damage is Irreversible"
Posts: 358 | Registered: Monday, October 27 2003 08:00

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